Update: Aeon makes an important point: the tapes may have been in foreign custody.
I thought it might be useful to go back and see what DOJ said to Brinkema about the ones that didn’t get destroyed.
The position of the CIA is that only AZ and al-Nashiri were videotaped. (grain of salt time — It is also their position that they recorded over all tapes every two days — thus explaining why only 92 tapes were destroyed.)
A Feb 2008 Mazzetti article about the subject of your post here adds some detail:
But federal prosecutors told a judge in October that the C.I.A. possessed two videotapes and one audiotape documenting the interrogations of detainees suspected of having been Qaeda operatives. In recent weeks, some government officials have indicated that the C.I.A. may have obtained those tapes or others from foreign intelligence services.
So another detainee could very well have been shown on these three tapes especially if obtained from a liaison service. But also the interrogation in question may have been then conducted by the same foreign intel service.
Moussaoui also asked for material from Ibn Sheikh al-Libi. Who, of course, was in Egyptian custody. That might explain why the transcripts were suspect, and it might explain why one part of CIA had contact with the people who had the tapes. Thanks Aeon!
Since we’re back on torture tapes, I wanted to return to the letter DOJ sent to Leonie Brinkema to tell her they had found three torture tapes they had neglected to mention when she asked about tapes in November 2005. There’s much that remains obscure about this letter, but the whole thing makes a lot more sense if Mitchell and Jessen had been in possession of the three "discovered" tapes.
Recently, we learned that the CIA obtained three recordings (two video tapes and one short audio tape) of interviews of [four lines redacted]. We are unaware of recordings involving the other enemy combatant witnesses at issue in this case [half line redacted, must be the names of those Moussaoui asked to testify]. Further, the CIA came into possession of the three recordings under unique circumstances involving separate national security matters unrelated to the Moussaoui prosecution.
On September 13, 2007, an attorney for the CIA notified us of the discovery of a video tape of the interrogation of [one and a half lines redacted]. On September 19, 2007, we viewed the video tape and a transcript [redacted] of the interview. The transcript contains no mention of Moussaoui or any details of the September 11 plot. In other words, the contents of the interrogation have no bearing on the Moussaoui prosecution [footnote to a comment, "the recording from (redacted)"]. The existence of the video tape is at odds with statements in two CIA declarations submitted in this case, as discussed in detail below.
After learning of the existence of the first video tape, we requested the CIA to perform an exhaustive review to determine whether it was in a possession of any other such recordings for any of the enemy combatant witnesses at issue in this case. CIA’s review, which now appears to be complete, uncovered the existence of a second video tape, as well as a short audio tape, both of which pertained to interrogations [redacted]. On October 18, 2007, we viewed the second video tape and listened to the audio tape, while reviewing transcripts [redacted, with unredacted footnote saying, "The transcript of the audio tape previously existed and was contained within an intelligence cable."] Like the first video tape, the contents of the second video tape and the audio tape have no bearing on the Moussaoui prosecution–they neither mention Moussaoui nor discuss the September 11 plot. We attach for the Courts’ review ex parte a copy of the transcripts for the three recordings. Read more